Doctors to begin recording patient visits using Apple Watch in California

Apple Watches on white background
Apple Watches on white background (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Blue Shield of California will have its doctors wear Apple Watches to record patient visits.
  • It's health service Altais will partner with Notable Health to capture the data.
  • The technology will allow recordings to be combined with lab results, prescriptions and referalls and added to any Electronic Health Record.

Blue Shield of California has announced it plans to improve physician-patient interactions, by having its doctors wear Apple Watches that will provide "smart medical assistance." According to the report:

BSC, together with its health services partner Altais, have partnered with Notable Health, a company that provides technology to captures office visits through the use of artificial intelligence.The data is captured, then the tool adds lab results, prescriptions and referrals, and prepares everything for sign-off for addition to the EHR. In short, the doctor wears the watch, speaks naturally during the office visit, and the technology does the rest.

The first group to wear the Apple Watch will be doctors at The Paradise (Calif.) Medical Group. Apple Watch will combine with Notable Health's wearable technology, which uses machine learning and language processing to decipher a recording of a patient visit into only the relevant data needed for the Eletronic Health Record. In a statement Jeff Bailet, MD, president and CEO of Altais said:

"Our goal is to help physicians seamlessly leverage technology to improve the health and well-being of their patients—all while reducing administrative hassles and enhancing their professional gratification... Notable Health will help us get there with its digital assistant technology that automates manual tasks across any electronic health record."

The report further notes that Notable Health's platform can be used on patient's smartphones to give access to streamlined check-in, appointment reminders, insurance eligibility checks and self-assessment surveys. The goal of the scheme is to allow doctors to spend less time doing admin, and more time providing care for patients. Richard Thorp, MD, President and CEO of Paradise Medical Group said:

"As a general internist taking primary care of an elderly population with multiple complex illnesses, I will now have a maximally efficient workflow, streamlined data entry, and patient input pre-built into each of my patient encounters, and that is extremely exciting... This partnership with Altais, Notable and Blue Shield is the kind of transformational change that our medical group believes is needed to revitalize healthcare, invigorate the doctor-patient relationship, and return joy to the practice of medicine."

The news is certainly an enticing look at how technology could revolutionise the way we use and recieve medical care in the future.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9